Blueberry Cream Pie in a Gingersnap Crust

2 Jul

Some good friends of mine had a baby recently.  Actually, a few good friends of mine have had babies recently, which is rather exciting. In addition to being able to visit and squeeze all the new babies (cheeks!  Thighs!  Chubby arm folds!), I am also able to test out some new recipes on my ravenous and more-than-a-little exhausted friends and their families.

Wait.  That came out wrong, like I am testing out recipes on unsuspecting new parents.  I don’t mean it that way.  I’ve been known to bring newly developed recipes to potlucks, brunches, and the occasional Thanksgiving dinner, so introducing new dishes to many people at a time is old hat to me.  I swear that I only do this sort of thing when I am positive that the recipe is a good one, and that I would never, ever spring a suspicious new dish on people.  Nobody wants to be served something revolting, and I certainly don’t want to serve anyone anything that might be categorized as such.

Which is why, when I wanted to come up with a new way to make a blueberry dessert, I decided that the best way to present the blueberries would be in a medium with which I am decidedly familiar: a pie.  Specifically, a pie lined with what has become my favorite crumb crust, made with spicy gingersnap cookies in lieu of graham crackers.  Topping the pie is a middle layer of cool vanilla custard, and on top of that is a full 3 cups of fresh, plump blueberries.  That doesn’t sound like an experiment that could ever go wrong, does it?  Of course not.  And it didn’t, as I heard from the pie’s recipients just a day after I dropped it off.  The last slice of pie had just been happily consumed, the new mother getting the honors of the last bite.  As it should be, I think.

Blueberry Cream Pie in a Gingersnap Crust Recipe

Gingersnap Crust

9 ounces gingersnap cookies

4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Arrange an oven rack to the middle position.

In the bowl of a food processor, process cookies until they are pulverized into small crumbs.  Alternately, if you don’t have a food processor, you can crush the cookies in a plastic bag, using a rolling pin or a meat tenderizer.  When cookies are crushed, slowly drizzle in melted butter, pulsing the food processor as you drizzle.  If not using a food processor, transfer the crumbs to a medium bowl and drizzle in the butter while stirring with a spatula.  Add pinch of salt and process or stir until crumbs start to cling together.

Pour the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie pan.  Using a spoon or a small metal measuring cup, press the crumbs into the pan, covering the bottom, then pressing the crumbs evenly up the sides of the pan.  Bake the crust for 8 to 9 minutes, until the edges of the crust are just beginning to color.  Remove crust from oven and set aside to cool slightly.

Blueberry Cream Pie

¼ cup cornstarch

1/3 cup sugar

pinch of salt

2 cups milk

3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 cups fresh blueberries

In a medium saucepan set over medium low heat, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, and pinch of salt.  Slowly pour in milk while steadily whisking, making sure the cornstarch mixture does not clump up. Whisk in the egg yolks.  Reduce heat to medium low and slowly whisk the mixture for 7 to 8 minutes, until it becomes quite thick.  Remove from the heat and immediately whisk in vanilla.

Pour the custard into the baked gingersnap crust.  Pile blueberries on top of custard.  Place pie in refrigerator for at least 2 hours, until custard has set and pie is thoroughly chilled.

Serves 6 to 8 people.


17 Responses to “Blueberry Cream Pie in a Gingersnap Crust”

  1. Nancy July 2, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    Blueberries getting big out here, but definitely it will be awhile until they’re really ripe. Definitely we’ll try this – love gingersnaps and blueberries and bet they’re delicious together.

  2. pdxknitterati July 2, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    My blueberries are just ripening, and this will be a great way to use some. I still have lots of last year’s blueberries in the freezer, too! Yikes. But a question: There are eggs in your picture, and custards usually have eggs, but there are no eggs in your recipe. Just thought I’d better double-check! Thanks.

    • savorysaltysweet July 2, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

      Oh, no! You are right–I totally omitted the eggs in the recipe and instructions. I have fixed it now, and the recipe is complete. Thanks for letting me know about the mistake. Let me know how the pie turns out for you!

      • pdxknitterati July 7, 2012 at 12:29 am #

        The pie was beautiful, and delicious! I’m going to try it with Trader Joe’s ginger thins in the crust next time; the grocery store boxed ginger snaps were a little too heavy on the molasses flavor at the finish. That didn’t stop us from eating it, though. All gone! Thanks for an easy and quick recipe with tons of visual appeal.

      • savorysaltysweet July 7, 2012 at 9:26 am #

        I am so glad the pie was a hit! Thanks for letting me know about its success.

  3. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide July 3, 2012 at 5:23 am #


  4. tanyamhudson July 4, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Your pie sounds delicious! I love the idea of a gingersnap crust in place of graham crackers. And I, too, am known for experimenting on large groups of people (like both of the wedding showers I’ve cooked for this year). No disasters yet. *fingers crossed* 🙂

    • savorysaltysweet July 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

      Tanya–People seem to think I am nuts for trying out new recipes during big events and such, but I am glad to know that I am not the only person who does it!

      • tanyamhudson July 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

        My mom thought I was crazy when I told her I had tried five new recipes for my best friend’s bridal shower back in April. Of course, I also performed amateur alterations on my own wedding dress a week before the big day…so maybe I am a little crazy.

  5. Katie Whitehead July 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    Out of curiosity, and for the sake of a friend of mine who LOVES pie but it lactose intolerant, could I make this with almond or rice milk? It looks amazing.

    • savorysaltysweet July 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

      You could use rice milk, yes, but I would not use almond milk. Almond milk has a much stronger flavor that would interfere with the rest of the dessert, I fear. The custard will not be nearly as thick if you use rice milk, but it should thicken up somewhat and still be delicious. I’d also heat the custard at a much lower temperature so as to avoid scalding the rice milk. Let me know how it goes!

  6. Ingrid July 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Has anyone tried this w/ a different fruit? Like peaches?

    • savorysaltysweet July 16, 2012 at 8:09 am #

      Ingrid–I have not tried this with peaches, but I have tried it with strawberries and it was delicious. Peaches sound like they would also be fantastic. If you give it a try, let me know how it turns out.


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